If you have ever had a toothache, you know it is not the kind of pain you can ignore for long. One of the causes of tooth pain is an infection of the root. We will talk more about how that happens, but when the root of your tooth is infected, you may end up needing a root canal.
Can getting a root canal or other dental work make you loopy? It depends.
What to Expect During a Root Canal
The inside of your tooth contains a substance called pulp, which includes connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels that keep the tooth nourished. A cavity (or tooth decay) is a tiny hole that develops on an exposed surface of the tooth as a result of acid weakening the area. Acid is produced by bacteria found in plaque on teeth, after it feeds on food particles or sugar within the mouth.
If a cavity grows deep enough to break through to the pulp of the tooth, an infection in the root may occur and may not be discovered until your dentist is in the process of filling the cavity. A root canal may be necessary to save the tooth and eliminate any pain and infection.
To conduct the root canal, your dentist or endodontist (a root canal specialist) will need to remove the pulp using a special drill. The inside of the tooth is prepared, and X-rays may be taken. You will be given injections of an anesthetic to numb the area to be worked on. Nitrous oxide gas (combined with oxygen) may also be administered to help you relax during the procedure. It is delivered via a device that fits over your nose; inhaling through your nose ensures you are ingesting the nitrous oxide-oxygen combination, while your dentist or endodontist proceeds with his or her worth. The tooth cavity is filled and may be treated with antibiotics. If you need a crown, it may be fitted at a second visit. The good news is that once the pulp is removed, you should no longer feel pain in that particular tooth.
Loopy From Dental Work?
Nitrous oxide gas administered during the procedure can help you relax and relieve any anxiety you feel, but you may experience a bit of dizziness after your procedure. You should have someone with you when you get a root canal so that you don’t have to drive after your appointment.
It’s often the aftereffects of nitrous oxide that people are referring to when they say they felt loopy after dental work. After administration of nitrous oxide has stopped, be sure to breathe enough oxygen to clear remnants of the nitrous oxide from your system. In most cases, the nitrous oxide will be turned off, but oxygen remains on so that you continue to inhale oxygen before the device is removed from your nose. Interestingly, it’s exactly this increase in oxygen intake that can lead to reports of dizziness after the procedure.
There have been a very few reported cases of vertigo caused by the vibration of the dental drill affecting the inner ear on the side the dental work is performed on. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) almost always develops from unknown causes, but there are a few documented cases of its onset after a root canal. BPPV in these cases was treated promptly by a vestibular disorder specialist with no recurring symptoms.
A root canal is a safe procedure that treats a dangerous infection, relieves pain, and saves your tooth. An experienced dentist like Dr. Steven Hagerman performs many root canals with care and skill.
A recognized “Top Dentist” in the Twin Cities, Dr. Steven Hagerman and his staff provide friendly and caring dentistry in the Minneapolis – St. Paul area. For cleanings, general dentistry, and cosmetic procedures call (651) 646-2392 or schedule an appointment online today.